It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s SUBOG’s winter comedy show announcement! In case you missed it, Thursday Feb. 8 SUBOG Comedy announced their upcoming winter show via airplane banner flying through the skies of Storrs. The banner advertised the link to the SUBOG website announcing that the co-headliners of the March 1 performance would be Sal Vulcano, of “Impractical Jokers” fame, and Roy Wood Jr. from “The Daily Show.”
The two were picked based off of a student interest poll run earlier last semester on Facebook. According to Comedy Chair Nick Bartos, budget also played a factor.
“The way the process works is we have some agents that we work with and I’ll reach out to them and they’ll give me some ideas and kind of some price ranges so I know where we stand and what we have,” Bartos said. “I whittle those down with my committee and some of the SUBOG board members and then try to get student input, like in this instance with the Facebook survey. It gave me data that just felt really usable, and it’s cool that we can do that, that technology allows us to get out there.”
Vulcano is one of four members of the group “Impractical Jokers,” which has had a hidden-camera practical joke style show on TruTV since 2011. The four began as high school friends in Staten Island, New York. Vulcano does stand-up, has also produced a number of episodes of their show, as well as appearing in various television sitcoms.
Wood is a correspondent on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.” In 2017 he premiered a one hour stand-up special on Comedy Central and named the new host for the channel’s storytelling series “This Is Not Happening.” He was the star of TBS’ “Sullivan & Son” for three seasons, as well as appearing on shows such as “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” TBS’ “Conan,” “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
“I knew that this would be something the campus would really respond to positively,” Bartos said, referencing the high number of student votes for “Impractical Jokers” on the poll. “Roy Wood Jr. is a great comedian and one of the agents recommended that the pairing would work well together.”
Student input and outreach has been a priority for the Comedy Committee this year.
“I think if we’re making decisions kind of in a silo, our events aren’t gonna be well attended,” Bartos said. “The students aren’t going to enjoy it. So it’s been something really, really important to me, to make sure the student’s voice is heard when we’re booking the shows and marketing.” The committee has been accomplishing this through, obviously, some non-traditional means such as the airplane banner, but also through more traditional methods such as social media, email and posters.
“Originally I was really interested in skywriting. I found out that [skywriting] was very expensive. Blimps are also very expensive, but an airplane banner was feasible and we thought that’d be a really interesting way to capture students’ attention on campus,” Bartos said.
The comedy announcement came via plane just a day after SUBOG released the new name and rebranding for their upcoming spring concert. Some of their ticketing will also be done in tandem.
Tickets for the comedy show will be available to UConn students for free at the Jorgensen box office starting Thursday Feb. 15 until the show on March 1. $5 guest tickets for non-university students, accompanied by a UConn student, and $10 graduate student, faculty and staff member tickets will also be available for purchase. People who pick up tickets on Feb. 15 will also get a code that allows them to get early access to discounted concert tickets.
“It just felt natural [to work with the Concert Committee]. It felt natural for us to put our skills and our big shows and events and announcements together and make it something really big. I’m excited about that,” Bartos said.
SUBOG Comedy Committee is currently in the process of booking their next major show, to occur over spring weekend.
“Even as we are marketing and advertising shows and working towards shows, we’re still in the background always working on the next thing,” Bartos said. “We’re always looking ahead and always looking forward.”
“I think the goal is always bigger and better. It’s gonna be hard to match the excitement around Bob Saget,” Bartos said of last year’s spring show. “That’s such a big name and somebody we grew up with, I think it’s gonna be hard to match, but I’m hoping we found a few comedians that are really going to resonate with the student population here.”
Julia Mancini is the associate life editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at Julia.firstname.lastname@example.org.